March 13 Review | Season 6 Index | March 27 Review
American Idol Season 6 (2007)
March 20 - Don't Let the Camera Catch You Crying (British Invasion songs)
At the beginning of the season, Idol execs proudly announced that they were going to have a Beatles night. That didn't pan out because Sir Paul McCartney couldn't be persuaded to mentor this lackluster set of contestants. So we're left with…this.
After the obligatory fluff with the judges, we're introduced to Peter Noone of Herman's Hermits (who mentors the guys) and Lulu, of "To Sir, With Love" fame (who mentors the girls). To my relief, they actually have decent critiques to give the contestants, and Peter delivers some great jabs to Simon later. In particular, he points out that it's not a singing competition - it's about getting the most votes. Indeed.
Haley Scarnato (sings Billy Davis' "Tell Him"): Haley wants to be aggressive, and I'm already chuckling. Lulu wants her to be more staccato and proud of her sound. To my surprise, Haley actually picks the right song - i.e., it doesn't require a lot of belting or emotion. She looks like she's having fun, she's got the sixties twisty moves down, and I'm sure the fact that she's hardly wearing any clothes is going to get her some guy votes. Randy says it's her best performance to date. Paula calls her girlish and adorable. Simon, who has been drooling over her entire performance, calls her a "naughty little thing" and believes that people will be talking about a lot more than her singing.
Chris Richardson (sings Gerry & the Pacemakers' "Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying"): Chris wants to finally nail a song. In rehearsal, Peter didn't hear a lot of his voice and tells him to stick to the melody. So - surprise! - he does so. He gets a guitarist on stage with him, and I guess he does sound the best I've heard him so far (he stays on pitch, for one thing), but his nasally, breathy voice still bugs. He looks good to the girls, though, judging from the squeals from the audience. Randy says it shows a different side to Chris. Paula really likes the sexy arrangement. Simon says it's his best performance yet.
Stephanie Edwards (sings Dusty Springfield's "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me"): Stephanie thinks the hardest part about getting ready each week is picking the right song. Ho-hum. Lulu think she's so grounded and compares her to Beyoncé. So what does she pick? The song that Nadia nailed in Season 4. Only she sings it a lot more tentatively than Nadia, and then her voice gets strangely wobbly, as if she started to get nervous. Hmm. I'm not getting it. Randy thinks it was a little pitchy. Paula likes her clothes, but wants her to have more fun. Simon believes she's losing her edge.
Blake Lewis (sings the Zombies' "Time of the Season"): Peter likes Blake's beatboxing, but he doesn't want to be in the front row of a concert when he's doing it. Hee. This is another good song choice. Blake's delivery is remarkably smooth and almost sexy (except when he strains for the higher notes of the chorus), and the beatboxing isn't overwhelming, even if I am getting a little tired of the gimmick. The plaid trousers can go, though. We don't need to be that retro. Randy says this was a cool, vibey, massive "yo factor" version of the song. Paula says Blake has raised the bar. Simon says that this performance is a million times better than last week and his strongest so far. Then Blake gets Ryan to dance and sing the song, and I have to run to the bathroom to wash my eyes and ears.
LaKisha Jones (sings Shirley Bassey's "Diamonds Are Forever"): Lulu wants her to do "You're My World" so badly that she sings it to her, but LaKisha chooses to do this one instead. And she comes out wearing a million dollars worth of diamonds. Literally. I'm sure there was all sorts of security backstage for that. She sings the song well, and it's an appropriately Bond-ish arrangement (I kept waiting for James to walk on the screen in the background), but it's not as fun as some of the other contestants' choices. Can she find a song where she can smile while she's singing? Randy didn't feel like there was enough of LaKisha in it. Paula counters that she picked the right song. Simon says it sounded like LaKisha in 50 years' time. LaKisha later quips that she'll be happy if she sounds that good at that age. Nyah to you, Simon.
Phil Stacey (sings the Nashville Teens' "Tobacco Road"): Peter thinks it's the perfect song for Phil's voice. I don't recognize the song, but I'm glad to hear some rock tonight. After LaKisha's seriousness, it's a bit of a relief, actually. Paula is jumping up and down and giggling by the end, so I think the judges are finally going to like him. But no, they don't want no rock boys this year. Or at least not this rock boy. Randy merely says it was pretty good, as if he's choosing between mediocre wines. Paula likes hearing the various ranges of Phil's voice. Simon didn't hear any grit in his voice and thinks he may have a problem tomorrow. Ummmm…I'll admit that amidst a lot of good performances, his might be forgotten, but I wish that someone would have pointed out that it was better than last week, which was better than the week before. But hey, I guess that only matters for people like Blake.
Jordin Sparks (sings Shirley Bassey's "I Who Have Nothing"): Jordin says "I'm So Excited" is the song that describes her the best, because she says that all the time, tee hee hee. Lulu loves this song and tells her to scream more. Jordin doesn't scream, but she sings this really, really well, with an emotional depth that's almost scary coming from someone who's only 17. I do have to giggle at lines like "you buy her diamonds," though, which come across as an unintentional jab at LaKisha's song. Randy says it's a great performance. Paula says age doesn't matter when you're this good. Simon says she sang it beautifully but he feels like jumping off a bridge because the song was so gloomy. Oh, please?
Sanjaya Malakar (sings the Kinks' "You Really Got Me"): Peter says Sanjaya is cute but inexperienced. Um…yeah. And now we get to the part of the show where I want to strangle myself. Lordy. Sanjaya actually isn't too bad--for Sanjaya. He's jumping around, he's working the audience, he acts like he doesn't care what the heck the judges say. Well, okay, good for him. The camera, however, keeps cutting to this young girl who is constantly crying. What, is she the only fan he has? Randy is shocked that Sanjaya came out of his shell. Paula says this is what they've been waiting for. Simon, who is clearly appalled, points to the little girl's face and says that says it all. Unfortunately, he's then informed that the girl actually lurrrrrved Sanjaya, and Sanjaya seems to take what he said as a compliment. And then we have a hug session with Sanjaya and the girl, and I think she's going to pass out.
Gina Glocksen (sings the Rolling Stones' "Paint It Black"): Gina believes that being on Idol has made her stronger. Snore. Lulu thinks this is a good song for her, but she wants it set a half-step higher and more dramatic. I agree that this is a good choice for Gina; I just wish she could have kept the intensity going throughout the song and pronunciated…um, enunciated her words better. Randy says it was just "aiight." Paula thinks it was better than last week and tells her to let loose next week. Simon says there were moments of complete torture in that vocal and that it was more style over content. The cynic in me says, "I'll bet he wouldn't say that to Mick Jagger," except Gina isn't even in the same league with Jagger, so I'll shut up now.
Chris Sligh (sings the Zombies' "She's Not There"): Chris did his research on Peter so he could flatter him. Peter enjoys the chit-chat for a bit, then tells him to figure out what the song is about. I don't know if Chris ever figured it out, but as he starts his performance, I'm thinking I'm enjoying the band more than his singing, which is rushed and off pitch for three-fourths of the entire song. Given how they critiqued Gina's vocals, I expect the judges to be just as harsh here. Instead, they give Chris a big pass. Randy says it started rough but ended well. Paula likes his clothes and thinks his vocals are really good, but he should work the crowd more. Simon thinks he interacted well with the audience, and while this wasn't the best song of the night, it was much better than his performance last week. No one mentions the pitch problems that plagued the entire song. Pppphhhht.
Melinda Doolittle (sings "As Long As He Needs Me" from Oliver!): Lulu loves a torch song like this and has nothing to say. Melinda's voice is great, although a bit too heavy on the vibrato for my tastes tonight, and the performance is as polished as always. I wish she'd pick more exciting songs, though. The tunes she's been selecting lately have only been saved by her vocals, and that's twice in a row she's gotten away with picking something from a musical. But I guess no one cares about that, because we've all but declared her the winner this year. The little girl is so moved that she's crying again. Randy says they saved the best vocal for last. Paula believes that Melinda is in her own league. Simon wonders if she's really as nice as she seems, then calls her vocal impeccable.
And we are taken out of the show by seeing the little girl--whose name is Ashley--brought to the stage so she can bawl and hug all the contestants. Gag.
Okay, the show wasn't as boring this week as it was in previous weeks, probably because most of the contestants have figured out that they have to sing now. But I'm still a bit stumped as to rankings. Here's what I'll try, and it's based solely on personal preference:
1. Jordin Sparks
- Great vocals, a lot of emotion.
2. Blake Lewis - I liked the treatment of the song.
3. Melinda Doolittle - A professional as always, but I want to hear something more interesting next week.
4. LaKisha Jones - Not quite up there with Melinda, but the same comments apply.
5. Phil Stacey - I don't care what the judges say. I wanted to dance during this, and I don't think he should go home.
6. Haley Scarnato - She doesn't have the strongest voice, but she picked the right song and performed it like a sixties singer would.
7. Chris Sligh - I like the tone of his voice, but he's getting sloppier with his singing.
8. Gina Glocksen - Because Mick Jagger pronounces his words better.
9. Chris Richardson - I just don't like his voice, even when he's on pitch.
10. Sanjaya Malakar/Stephanie Edwards - Stephanie had an overall worse performance, but Sanjaya must go.
Bottom 2 on March 21 Results Show (no third person announced): Chris Richardson & Stephanie Edwards
Eliminated: Stephanie Edwards
Review © 2007 by Patricia Lowhorn. For comments, e-mail email@example.com.
March 13 Review | Season 6 Index | March 27 Review